Young St. Viator grabs nonconference victory from Glenbrook South
With five freshmen in his starting lineup, St. Viator softball coach John Scotillo said his Lions are kind of learning on the job.
They showed Wednesday they've learned how to get the job done while playing from behind.
Trailing 3-1 after an inning and a half to visiting Glenbrook South, St. Viator rallied with 2 runs in the bottom of the second and then pulled away to a 10-3 nonconference win in Arlington Heights.
Freshman pitcher Grace Gerdes-Grabowy threw a 7-hitter with 5 strikeouts while classmate Alexis Horn went 3-for-3 with an RBI double as the Lions improved to 4-9.
"Our freshman pitcher is getting better with every game," Scotillo said. "And after a little bit of a tough start, she got better as the game went on."
Her catcher Jillian Bollard, only a sophomore, makes things easier, too for the rookie right-hander.
Bollard tossed out two runners trying to steal, including one to end the first inning after the Titans (3-6) got their first baserunner.
"When she throws out the first one, that really helps for the rest of the game," Scotillo said. "It helps so much to have a solid receiver. She's just a sophomore and with all our freshmen, it's fun to watch."
Lions fans got to watch Horn enjoy a perfect day at the plate while scoring 1 run.
Her infield hit started the Lions second-inning rally. A one-out opposite-field triple down the left-field line by Suzanne Klopp and an infield hit by freshman Stella Zafiris and an RBI double from freshman leadoff batter Maggie Ratzki tied the game at 3-3.
"When we are down we are able to pull together because we have a really strong coaching staff (Scotillo's assistants include all former Lions softball players Julie Sweeney, Bridget Urbanus, Gina Mastrodomenico and Krystal Harris). "I think we are all able to trust each other and come together as a team. We know if someone is having a rough time, we know how to pick them up and just move on from there."
The Lions really got their bats moving in the fourth inning when they took the lead for good when Ratzki reached on an error and Allison Ardito singled to center for a 5-3 lead.
Viator put the game out of reach with 5 runs in the fifth, getting an RBI double from Horn and singles from Ratzki and Klopp. Freshman Ellen Denten also reached on a walk and scored in the inning and she ended the game with a nice scoop at first base.
"St. Viator has a really nice team this season," Titans coach Dana Boehmer, who was a standout pitcher on some really nice teams for Elk Grove hall of fame coach Ken Grams. "They had a great pitcher, probably the best we've seen this season. She was great."
Christina Korompilas, Kate Maher and Anya Araza each had hits in the Titans' 3-run second inning that followed the Lions' first-inning run produced by Gerdes-Grabowy's RBI double to left that scored Brook Cwick who singled with two outs.
Lauren Chin led the Titans' offense, going 2-for-3, with a walk and a double. She was also 2-for-3 in the Titans' 2-1 win over Niles West on Tuesday.
"Lauren has been on a little bit of a streak so she's doing great," Boehmer added. "I was proud of my kids. We stuck in this game for four innings and we had some different pitchers (Hayden Joseph started and Delaney Turnbow and Tessa Hoffer) came in relief) who don't always get to come in, and I thought they did a fantastic job.
"So I was proud of our team overall. St. Viator was probably one of the strongest teams we've played this season. So obviously I'm disappointed that we picked up a loss and lost by seven runs, but I don't think it really showed with how we played through the first four innings."